TORREMOLINOS, Spain and MÁLAGA, Spain, March 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Peter Morrison, President, Skal International, the world's largest organization of tourism industry leaders from all sectors, announced today several steps to assist Skal's membership with the coronavirus epidemic by keeping them informed on developments which are shareable with their global customer base.
"First of all," said Morrison, "Skal stands in solidarity with the victims of the coronavirus. Any loss of life is tragic and any illness, even if cured later, brings disruption and anxiety. We are following closely all of the cases of quarantining people, whether it be shutting down a city like Wuhan or keeping passengers on a cruise ship."
"In terms of the travel industry, Skal International is monitoring all of the developments and evaluating the impact that fear of the coronavirus is having on travel. We know that airline reservations are falling, hotel occupancy is down, some attractions like the Louvre Museum in Paris have closed temporarily, and cruise ships are seeing decreased sales. Skal is working with the United Nations World Tourism Organization and following reports from the World Travel and Tourism Council to help keep our members better informed."
As of March 10, coronavirus cases have exceeded 100,000 with over 4000 deaths. Almost 60% of these cases have recovered with 86% of the remaining cases in mild condition and 14% in serious or critical condition. Currently, nearly 80% of the cases are in China with only South Korea, Italy, and Iran having more than 5000 cases each. Several other countries have a thousand or less cases.
"Skal embraces the recommendations of the UNWTO and the WTTC," says Morrison. "They recommend responsible travel. Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of the WTTC and former Tourism Minister of Mexico, made this statement, 'One death is one too many from any virus but now is not the time to panic. We understand there is a huge concern about COVID-19. However, it's important to remember that fatality rates remain very low and the chances of contracting the virus for the vast majority of people are very remote if they travel responsibly and observe simple hygiene measures.' Skal endorses this statement."
Morrison announced that Skal International will begin posting relevant statements from the UNWTO, WTTC, and other internationally recognized industry sources on its website www.skal.org. In addition, Skal will provide updates on key airline route modifications, key attractions closures, changes in major industry events, and other important developments.
"Skal is going to play a supportive role in this challenge and work hard to keep our members informed," concludes Morrison. "By standing together, both the travelling public and the tourism industry will emerge in a healthy situation in the coming months."
SOURCE Skal International